How IT Can Simplify a Complex Federal Healthcare Environment

March 13, 2017
It’s no news to healthcare professionals that they face a perfect storm of workplace challenges.

Patient populations are aging.

Costs are rising while per-patient budgets shrink.

Changes at the federal level may well portend an immediate period of disruptive change.

And against all of those constraints, all healthcare institutions—but public agencies, in particular—face growing demands for transparency.

For federal healthcare centers, the challenge is compounded by the sheer size of the operation. The U.S. Department of Defense treats nine million Americans per year, while the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has another six million on its roster.

By contrast, private sector healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente serves about 10 million members.

But there’s “good news for federally-funded hospitals,” says Infor Chief Nursing Executive Beth Meyers, in an Infor Industry Perspective paper on The Pivotal Role of Technology in Federal Healthcare. “As private sector hospitals streamline their processes and IT vendors create tools and technologies to help them, the federal systems can take advantage of these new ways of thinking.”

Elements of the Solution

Meyers and Joel Rydbeck, Infor’s Director of Healthcare Technology and Strategy, list three key initiatives healthcare leaders have introduced to make the most of the often scarce resources at their disposal.

They can consolidate disparate technologies in a single, patient-centered supply chain, to optimize the more than 500 individual software and hardware systems that many institutions use to support their day-to-day operations. “The clinical systems have a lot of information that’s relevant to the supply chain,” Rydbeck explains. “Conversely, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) or supply chain systems have a lot of information relevant to clinical procedures of the hospital system. Unfortunately, there’s a massive chasm between the two.”

They can use technology to optimize nursing services by streamlining staffing and workforce procedures. The challenge is to deliver unique solutions that are tailored to the needs and characteristics of each healthcare facility, rather than expecting them to conform to a one-size-fits-all solution.

And they can take advantage of the mountains of data buried in healthcare IT systems—an estimated 25,000 petabytes of data by 2020, according to one industry analysis. “That data is most often a mass of unintelligible bits and bytes today,” the paper states. “To decrease costs and improve patient care, health IT solutions must have access to reliable, near-real time data from across the health system.”

Easy, Seamless Integration

Rapid technological advances and continuing changes in regulatory expectations make IT optimization an even more urgent priority for federal healthcare institutions. “Providers must simultaneously improve patient outcomes, better the patient experience, and lower the cost of care to operate in today’s environment,” the paper states. But “especially for publicly-funded and government health systems, achieving that trifecta will be a challenge.”

That’s why federal healthcare systems need technologies that “promote integration across all systems and data to streamline the supply chain and optimize the health workforce.” And Infor stands ready to make that integration easy and seamless.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for healthcare providers to focus on their mission of serving patients,” Rydbeck states. And the company is walking the talk, with systems in place that are making work life easier for more than 2,500 healthcare providers around the world.

Download your copy of Infor’s Industry Perspective paper, The Pivotal Role of Technology in Federal Healthcare.

Register to attend Infor’s 2nd Annual Federal Forum taking place April 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. Immerse yourself in this half-day of presentations and discussion with government leaders, partners, and Infor technology executives, delivering ideas and innovations that are ready to implement.

Wayne Bobby, Vice President, Infor Federal
  • Federal Government
  • State and Local Government
  • North America
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